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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

230        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

purposes was diverted elsewhere, and the schools had to be
satisfied with a money grant supposed to be equivalent to their
former endowments. The elementary schools, and a number of
the grammar schools (perhaps as many as 200), disappeared
altogether, and most of those which survived found themselves
impoverished by the steady fall in the value of money. By the
time Elizabeth came to the throne, the blunder of her prede-
cessors had become evident,-and vigorous efforts were made with
the help of generous laymen to undo the mischief by re-establishing
old schools and establishing new ones. Before the end of the
century most parts of the country were once more well provided
with the means of education.

Despite the changes in their political fortunes, the character
of the schools was but slightly affected by the Reformation. Their
main studies were grammar and rhetoric as these had been defined
by the leaders of the northern renaissance at the beginning of
the century, and the pious purpose which had originally led to
their founding still inspired their work. The change of Church
made little difference to them. The new Church simply
took over the duties of the old. It saw to the qualifications
of the teachers and conferred on them their licence to teach ; and
it supervised the instruction they gave by periodical visitations
and inspections. The one new factor in administration ,was the
direct interference of the sovereign in their affairs as head of the
Church; but for the most part the actual interference was slight.
The main form it took, apart from the exaction of an oath of
loyalty from the teacher, was the occasional prescription of text-
books. In 1540 Henry VIII ordered that the grammar known
as Lily*s Grammar—a work in which Dean Colet, the founder
of St. Paul's School, Lily, the first headmaster of the school,
Erasmus and other later scholars, had all had a share—should be
the only grammar used in the schools. Similar orders were issued
by Edward VI and Elizabeth, and this book continued to be the
one authorized textbook in grammar till the Eighteenth Century.
It might have been expected that the strengthening of the Puritan
element in the Church by the return of the clergy who had gone
into exile on the Continent in the reign of Queen Mary would have
led to some modification of the work of the schools, but beyond
a greater emphasis on religious instruction the central studies were
not appreciably affected. Some of the Puritans did, indeed,